First drive: face-lifted Peugeot 407

* Mid-life face-lift for 407 * Improved 140bhp 2.0 HDI * Revised interior...

The Peugeot 407 has been around since 2004 now, so Peugeot has decided it's high time for a mild nip and tuck.

The subtle design changes include a revised front grille and body-coloured rubbing strips, while the saloon gets a new rear bumper and the estate redesigned rear lights.

The changes are far from startling, but they do help give the Peugeot a sharper look.

Inside, piano black dashboard trim, revised ventilation and stereo controls, a new range of seat materials and the option of high-definition sat-nav completes the package.

Other than that, it's pretty much business as usual for the 407. Wind and tyre noise are subdued, and the spacious interior makes it a relaxing environment.

There are no suspension changes, so that means the car rides and handles just as the outgoing model does. It also means you get a pleasant high-speed ride, if not as supple as the best in the class, but it's notably poorer on bad surfaces at low speeds.

As a saloon, it will never be as practical as a hatchback, but the boot is a good size and easy to load.

There's been some juggling with the engine range, too - a revised one in, another out.

The best-selling 140bhp 2.0 HDI unit now complies with Euro V emissions targets, so it has improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

The older 136bhp version is still available with an automatic gearbox, and there's a 170bhp 2.2 HDI option, too.

All other engine options (125bhp 1.8, 143bhp 2.0 and 163bhp 2.2 petrols, 110bhp 1.6 and 205bhp 2.7 V6 diesels) remain the same as the old car, except that the 3.0i V6 petrol model is no longer available.

There's no confirmation of prices yet, but it's likely the car will go on sale in September.

Company car drivers won't care about the 407's steep depreciation, but private buyers should push dealers for the best possible price before shaking hands.